Patna, Nov 22 (IANS) Bihar plans to provide food supplement and medicines free of cost to nearly two lakh tuberculosis patients in the state, mostly poorest of the poor, said state Health Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey Thursday.
"The health department is working on to provide food supplement through different social welfare schemes such as the 'Annapurna Yojna' and free medicines through DOTS centres to the tuberculosis patients," Choubey told IANS here Thursday.
Choubey said the state government would also seek central fund for the scheme.
"We would launch the scheme next year," the minister said.
An official associated with Bihar's TB eradication programme said that the disease kills around 40,000 people annually in the state, while over 1.50 lakh new cases are detected every year.
According to Choubey, India gets nearly two million new TB cases every year − the highest in the world − and the disease, which is fully curable, kills at least 280,000 people annually across the country.